Kevin Jordan’s classroom at Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School is filled with dirt, flowerpots, and plants. Rows of shovels, rakes, and gardening aprons line the walls. Outside is a greenhouse, filled with succulents and other plants.
Jordan is a Nursery and Landscape Instructor for the Urban Oasis Project, part of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Sustainable Environments Learning Academy. The program introduces students to the fields of landscape architecture, environmental design, and engineering. The teacher has been working to enhance and refine the program for Palmiter students since 2009. “I’m excited because this year we are growing dragon fruit for the first time. It’s really fun to be able to grow some fresh fruit that the students might not normally try. And it’s a weird-looking plant!”
In addition to increasing their environmental awareness, students also help grow fresh produce that’s used by the school’s Culinary Arts Program in its Culinary Café. “I love working with our students. It’s a challenge, obviously, but that’s what life is about. I love…sharing the knowledge I have.”
New Opportunity to Share Gardening Expertise
“I really get a kick out of being able to share my enthusiasm—my passion for growing and working hard.”
This summer, Jordan was offered the opportunity to share his passion for plants with a wider audience. During his college years at Sacramento State, he’d worked for Green Acres Nursery and Supply, a locally owned, Sacramento-area garden center. The owners offered him the opportunity to co-host a Podcast, and he dug right in.
“The Podcast is a continuation of what I have…with the students,” Jordan explained. “Here, we are learning about science, the art of growing plants, and cultivation. The Podcast is the same thing. We’re just there to help people learn as much as possible so they can be successful.”
- Green Acres Garden Podcast—new episodes each Friday
The weekly production (which accommodates Jordan’s teaching schedule, since he’s still focused on helping students appreciate the environment) includes conversations with gardeners from throughout the community, along with Green Acres experts.
“They don’t all need to become Master Gardeners or ace landscapers,” he said about his audience. “I definitely want them to value plants, themselves, their ability to learn, the science that’s involved. I really get a kick out of being able to share my enthusiasm—my passion for growing and working hard.”